When the Governor issued executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, River’s Edge Hospital and the St. Peter Police Department made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s Bike Safety Rodeo.

We were looking forward to this year’s event. This would have been year No. 5 for this event, and we were expecting it to be the best one yet.

The event would have been this Saturday, May 16. The weather even looks like it would have been nice, finally (we’ve had to move inside the past couple of years). But, like with the cancellation of so many other community events, it was the right thing to do in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The real purpose of hosting the Bike Rodeo each year is to make sure the kids in our community are safe. No one wants to see a child get hurt because of a bike accident. From the helmets that were given away to the education provided by the police officers running the bike safety course, it was a time to teach kids (and their parents) to be safe.

This spring and summer, we can expect to see more kids and adults out on their bikes. Looking at businesses that sell bikes – and their empty shelves – this is likely the case. This means that bike safety is even more important.

To keep your kids and yourselves this summer, follow these tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• Wear a bicycle helmet! Everyone at every age should wear a helmet.

• Check your bike equipment before riding.

• Make yourself visible. Wear bright colors when riding and/or something reflective.

• Watch for road hazards like potholes, broken glass, gravel, etc.

• Use verbal and non-verbal communication such as eye contact with drivers, turn signals, point to road hazards to bicyclists behind you and stating “passing on your left” or “on your left.”

• Go with the flow of traffic.

• Obey all traffic laws.

• Ride on bike lanes or bike paths if available.

• Riding on a sidewalk puts you in a place where cars are not expecting you and it puts you at risk for crashes at driveways and intersections.

We look forward to seeing you out on your bikes this summer. Ride safe!

Stephanie Holden, M.A., CPXP, is the chief experience officer at River’s Edge Hospital.

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